Distraught mother says son ‘struggling to breathe’ in mould-ridden council flat

A desperate mother says her asthmatic son is “struggling to breathe” because of their mould-ridden flat.

Aisha Hussain, 31, says the thick black mould that’s formed on their living room and bedroom walls has seen the health of her eldest child, Justin, 16, deteriorate.

She says Justin has been on prescribed steroids for three weeks and is now using an asthma mask to help him breathe.

The mould first appeared on the walls of Aisha’s flat in Hounslow, London, in November 2021 in their living room and her children’s bedroom walls.

The mother-of-three has tried to use mould remover and has contacted her landlord who manages the property, but says she is “slowly giving up” because there is “no help”.

Aisha, who is a stay-at-home mother, said: “It’s stressing me out. I have been to the doctor with high blood pressure and my heart has been out of rhythm because of stress.

“I’ve heard of a little boy aged two die of this and my baby is two. This mould is at the end of his bed and at the side of the bed where he sleeps. I ring the council every day for help, but nobody seems to be there to help me.

“I have put in a disrepair claim for condensation and I have lost furniture and clothes due to the stains from the mould.”

Two-year-old Awaab Ishak died as a result of a severe respiratory condition in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, in December 2020.

His death was caused by prolonged exposure to mould in his home, a coroner ruled, in what was dubbed a ‘defining moment for the housing sector’.

 (Aisha Hussain/ SWNS)
(Aisha Hussain/ SWNS)
 (Aisha Hussain/ SWNS)
(Aisha Hussain/ SWNS)

On November18 2022, Aisha was admitted to Northwick Park Hospital with breathing problems and heart palpitations.

She was kept in overnight for observations and was given tablets to reduce stress and kept on a drip to keep her dehydrated.

In June 2022, Aisha received a visit from Environmental Health who said the issue was caused by condensation.

Aisha says she has been told that there is nothing Brent Council or her landlord can do to address the issue - leaving her exhausted and at the stage of giving up.

She said: “I get told to open the windows to ventilate the flat. In my room there is no windows, how can you ventilate a flat that just has three windows?

“One of my children has severe asthma, it has affected his breathing, he has been on steroids for three to four weeks and is in and out of the asthma mask.”

 (Aisha Hussain/ SWNS)
(Aisha Hussain/ SWNS)

Aisha shares the flat with her three children - Justin, 16, Shay, 13, and Shahroz, two.

She says she “doesn’t know what else to do” and has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of clothes and items she has had to throw away and replace.

Aisha said: “Every property I have been in since the age of 16 has had a problem - I haven’t had a place to call home.

“I don’t have anywhere else to go and I can’t go to a B&B as they will stick me in one bedroom with me and my three children.

“I am paying around £2,000 a month for a flat that is unliveable.

“In October, my case officer said I would get moved, we are in November now and I am still here.

“It is not just the winter. In the summer you can’t breathe in this flat as there are three windows in total.”

 (Aisha Hussain/ SWNS)
(Aisha Hussain/ SWNS)

Aisha says she feels abandoned by authorities.

She said: “When I go to the council, they fob me off.

“Every time I go to ring them, my case worker is on annual leave, and my case is not being properly looked at as there is nobody here to look at it.

“The landlord has come in and given me spray, I have sprayed it down and it makes the mould ten times worse.”

A Brent Council spokesperson said: “It is our aim for everyone in Brent to live in a safe and secure home.

“We take concerns about poor quality or overcrowded private accommodation very seriously and inspect properties quickly whenever problems are raised.

“As in all situations like this, we have offered the family temporary accommodation and have also served a notice to the landlord to address the safety concerns.

“The welfare of the family is our upmost priority so we will continue to look for temporary accommodation that meets the family’s needs and work with the landlord to see that any safety concerns are resolved urgently.”